28 Oct 2012

The human cost of austerity

Rates of suicide and depression are on the rise in Spain as the unemployment figures there hit a record high as Europe struggles to contain its debt crisis. New figures show that one-in-four Spanish workers are now without a job. Only Greece has a higher unemployment rate in the European Union (EU).

But as austerity measures bite, there is growing concern that the cuts are taking a more worrying toll. Health groups say there has been a sharp rise in mental health problems at the same time that welfare services are being cut back.

And the Red Cross says a growing number of Europeans are now relying on food aid. Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull visited a charity-run soup kitchen in a hard-hit suburb of Madrid where hunger is a very real symptom of Spain's economic crisis. "Not long ago mainly poor immigrants sat down to lunch at these tables. Now an equal number of Spaniards does as well," he says.

Al Jazeera English